This list of administrative skills covers what employers most want to see when hiring for positions like administrative assistant, executive assistant, office manager, and other administrative roles.
Why are administrative skills important?
Regardless of the industry, administrative tasks are the foundation of a workplace. Skills like communication and organization are crucial to a company’s operations, whether that company is in construction, finance, healthcare, or any other field.
Without employees who have strong administrative skills, things would quickly devolve into chaos, resulting in unhappy customers and dissatisfied staff.
As a candidate, you need to find a way to distance yourself from the rest of the proverbial pack. A great way to do this is by cultivating an array of in-demand skills. The more skills you possess, the better suited you may be to apply, and ultimately obtain, a highly sought-after job with a major company.
Possessing a broad skillset is especially important when it comes to open positions in the field of office and professional administration. Many positions require a specific set of administrative skills and experience to effectively perform the job duties. As a result, the longer your list of administrative skills, the more likely you are to land that job.
The list below highlights some of the most in-demand administrative skills that employers want to see right now. If you are looking for a new job in this area, it is important to take stock of your resume and background to see if you possess these skills and, if not, what steps you can take to better position yourself in the job market.
Bolster your value in the job market with these admin skills
When you apply for an administrative position, it is important to have a baseline of knowledge regarding the industry in which you plan to work. If you understand the industry inside and out, you will be well-versed in all areas of this specific workplace niche and will be able to jump into work mode with ease. As for the areas which you should be knowledgeable about, it’s essential to have a working knowledge of industry terminology, trends in that specific industry, and be well-trained on a continual basis within that industry.
Knowledge of popular office application software
In today’s business world, being computer-savvy is essential. And by “computer-savvy” we do not mean being able to email a co-worker. You need to be able to adeptly navigate Microsoft Word, Outlook, and Excel, in addition to Google Drive, DropBox, and other commonly used digital applications.
Many companies seeking to establish a social media presence online routinely assign the task of setting up social media profiles for members of the administrative team. This is why you need to be comfortable working on social media platforms, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
If you are working in an administrative role, you will probably be conversing not only with your boss and co-workers, but clients, vendors, and other individuals on a daily basis. With this in mind, it is vital to have strong communication skills and be able to get your point across in an effective and professional manner. Your communication skills will be evaluated right away, starting with the job interview, so be sure to shine in this regard.
A positive attitude
Everyone has an attitude, but we are all aware that not everyone has a good one. Being enthusiastic, upbeat, and easy to get along with comes naturally for some, but for others, these are skills that need to be developed. Work on becoming conscious of your tone, body language, and facial expressions. Perception truly is reality, and how others see you carry yourself and act will ultimately determine how they feel about you. Being likable and successful usually go hand-in-hand.
Ability to work well under pressure
Many administrative positions involve high stress and last-minute deadlines. This is why it is so important to work well under pressure and be able to complete all tasks in a timely and efficient manner. This may not sound like a “skill” but it most definitely is. You have to train yourself to be able to focus intensely to ensure a deadline is met and a goal is achieved. Most days will be filled with multiple tasks and duties, many of which have to be completed at the same time. By showing your future employer that you can not only handle the pressure but excel under pressure as well, you’ll be more likely to land the administrative assistant gig that you’ve had your eye on all along.
In years past, it was rows of filing cabinets filled with manila folders. Today, it’s more likely a digital storage drive with a well-structured system for saving and retrieving important files. Conventional or new age, administrative assistants are responsible for making sure company data is stored in an orderly fashion and that it’s easily accessible when their colleagues need it. Strong organization skills are key to ensure that everything has a place.
Administrative employees routinely juggle multiple tasks with shifting deadlines to keep the office running smoothly and help their colleagues do the same. To be successful in an administrative role, you must take strong ownership of your time and how it’s allocated to make sure nothing falls through the cracks.
Attention to detail
Administrative professionals often bridge the gap between the inside of the office and the outside world. A strong attention to detail is necessary to help the company put its best foot forward, be it correct grammar and punctuation on a marketing flier or acknowledging the birthday of an important client.
Employers are looking for administrative employees they don’t have to micromanage. This means they need to be able to trust your judgment and ability to think on your feet, so critical thinking skills are essential.
Be proactive in improving your skill set
If you are reading the list above and note certain skills that you may be lacking, do not fret. There is an array of free resources available online to help anyone broaden their skillsets, especially with some of the administrative skills described above. However, it is important to be proactive and begin working on your skills. For example, if you have effectively zero experience working in Microsoft Excel, there are an array of free online courses that can demonstrate the basic functionalities of the application. The key is to have the desire and willingness to improve.